Charity name: Secret Spitfire Charity
Charity no: 1183978
Public address: The Rickyard, Silver Street, Alderbury, Salisbury SP5 3AN
Charitable objects: The objects of the CIO are to advance the education of the public in the history of the manufacture of the spitfire aircraft in the Salisbury area of Wiltshire, including but not limited to the erection and maintenance of a memorial or memorials to the spitfire aircraft and those who built it in the Salisbury area.
CIO – FOUNDATION Registered: 19 Jun 2019
Organisation type: Charitable Incorporated Organisation
Sir Christopher Benson
Following a near fatal car accident in 1953 he was “retired” from the Royal Navy and became an Agricultural Auctioneer and Valuer, settling in Salisbury in 1957 and marrying the then Councillor Jo Bundy, later Mayor of Salisbury and OBE, JP in 1960.
In 1965 he embarked on a new career in Commercial Property and Finance worldwide. He was, inter alia, Managing Director and later Chairman of MEPC plc (then the largest UK-based internationally operating property investment and management company), The Boots Company, Sun Alliance and London Insurance, Royal and Sun Alliance Insurance, Costain, Albright & Wilson, Reedpack, London Dockland Development Corporation, The Housing Corporation, The Funding Agency for Schools, Cross London Rail Links (Crossrail) and others.
He was Principal of the Inns of Court School of Law, High Sheriff of Wiltshire, is a Deputy Lieutenant of Greater London, and is Patron or President of a number of National Charities relating to Youth, Education and Medical and Deaf Children’s Charities.
He holds Honorary Degrees from London City and Bradford Universities, is an Honorary Bencher of Middle Temple, an Honorary Fellow of Wolfson College Cambridge, Southampton University, The Royal College of Pathologists , The Chartered Institute of Building and Salisbury Rotary Club.
He is a qualified Fixed and Rotary Wing Air Pilot and has flown a Spitfire (under supervision)!
As part of recent fundraising efforts at the Rugby Club, Chris organised showings of the Secret Spitfires film. This inspired the idea of building a memorial not only to the pilots but to everyone involved in building the Spitfires secretly in Salisbury during WWII, and he is now spearheading the project.
Chris lives in Alderbury with wife Lindsey and spends his free time enjoying regular walking sessions with The Old Rumblers, volunteering with the Alzheimer’s Men’s Group at SRFC, attending the Old Men’s Pilates Group at Pure Health and Fitness, propping up his very own home bar and looking after the grandchildren.
Stephen Charles Whitmore
Stephen came to Salisbury in 1989 after a career in the City, and became a partner at Wilsons Solicitors in that year. He specialises in company and commercial work but also advises many charities and is a trustee of the Chalke Valley History Trust, which owns the Chalke Valley History Festival. He first became aware of the Secret Spitfire story when advising the director Ethem Cetintas on the making of his movie of the same name.
Stephen lives in Broad Chalke and when not at Wilsons spends his time painting, golfing, playing real tennis and running, while he still can. To prove an eccentric streak, he is also the owner of a carefully curated collection of ethnic brushes from all over the world, regularly added to by indulgent friends.
Joshua Michael Green
Josh has been a Salisbury resident his whole life, having been educated at Bishop Wordsworth School. He has recently become a Chartered Tax Adviser, having completed all of his exams.
Outside of work, Josh is a keen rugby player and has been since the age of six. He has risen through the age groups at Salisbury RFC and has been the current 1st XV captain since 2016. Away from the pitch Josh is a keen traveller and has followed England’s cricket team to both South Africa and Australia with his finacee Zita.
Josh has also assisted Chris and played an active role in the Project All Change fundraising at Salisbury RFC. This is on top of running 10 marathons in 10 days for the RFU injured players foundation in 2014.